On Camera

{ Thursday, August 21, 2008 }

Last Friday, the amazing DebraSY was contacted by the local Fox news medical reporter as a source for a long-form story on fat bias in medicine and how it affects patient care. Debra referred Ms. McKean to me.

That's how my book and I came to be sitting, in my sunroom, in front of a camera yesterday. I had about 48 hours to prepare, so I thought I'd share with you what I'd do again and what I wish I'd done.

I'd do it again:

Spent some time and $ on wardrobe. Now, I have no idea how much footage of my interview will be used in the final cut. So the quick $80 I spent on knit slacks and a fitted jacket that weren't white, black, or patterned (and that were the best colors to make my eyes stand out) might seem unnecessary. But I felt confident and I'm sure it showed.

Cleaned my house. And it's a marvel. Now, as Ms. McKean said, dust doesn't show on camera. But I felt strong and prepared having a polished, cat-hair-free house with a few well-placed fresh flowers (another splurge).

Put my thoughts on note cards. I didn't use these like a memorized script, even though I had memorized them. When I did use them, I kept my sentences supershort. That's a sound bite. I wanted to make sure my central thoughts were the most likely pieces to be used. Also - putting my thoughts on index cards forced me to decide what I really thought and what the most important things were. Here are the shadowy photos of my note cards:

Click to see a legible version

What I wish I'd done:

Relaxed. Although I was ready with the answers I wanted to give, I wasn't as ready for on-the-ball give and take. Next time I'll be ready from both angles - both to give the points I want, and just to have a great conversation.

Sat up straight. Time will tell. I leaned slightly forward toward the interviewer and hope that I don't look hunched!

Paused longer when I wasn't sure of my answer. It's tape - they can edit out pauses! So if you're in this spot, remember it's okay to ask your interviewer to rephrase, repeat, let you have some time, or come back to the question. Take your time to process the question and decide what you really think. They'll wait.

So. It was stressful, and it was fun! The cameraman and reporter were friendly and professional and I completely forgot about the camera. (A feat, and I thanked the cameraman profusely for helping me be so at ease.)

The segment is to air sometime in November at the earliest. I'll let you know! For one thing, you'll have to watch it for me and let me know what to expect before I view it online in the privacy of my closed office. I'm not scared of the camera... but I'm a big chicken about viewing the tape.


Llencelyn said...

You should definitely post a transcript for those of us without a TV once it comes out! (Especially if this is just going to be playing locally, as the chances of me being in your area are vanishingly slim.)

Congrats on the interview.

ann pai said...

Thanks, llencelyn! The reporter said that the final segment will stay up on their web site for a long while. I'll post the link when it comes around.

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